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Man calls Internet hoax just a game
Pretrial hearing held in catchmekiller case
1205Andrew Haley
Andrew Haley

A pair of anonymous videos posted on the Internet credited to the "catchmekiller" got Andrew Scott Haley plenty of attention.

What Haley called part of a "mystery game" and was later deemed a "hoax" by authorities had more than 15 law enforcement officers swarming through his Gainesville home during a February raid.

In a court hearing Friday, Haley testified that the arrival of officers at the upscale home he shared with his wife and mother-in-law placed him in fear.

"I was scared that I was going to go to jail," Haley said. "I thought I was wanted for murdering someone, all because of a game."

Haley is charged with tampering with evidence and providing false statements in connection with two videos that were posted on the Internet site YouTube.

According to the indictment, Haley, with his face and voice obscured, claimed to have killed Tara Grinstead, an Ocilla woman missing since 2005. The "catchmekiller" also claimed to have killed 16 people, according to the indictment.

On Friday, Judge David Burroughs viewed the pair of videos in question. Both are shorter than five minutes and feature an ominously-voiced person with face blacked out providing "clues."

Law enforcement officials first learned of the videos when one was linked to a Web page devoted to the case of missing Orlando woman Jennifer Kesse. Kesse, 28, and Grinstead, 31, both were featured in a February episode of the CBS television show "48 Hours."

Someone claiming to be the "catchmekiller" later phoned an Orlando television station to say the videos, which were taken down, were merely a game.

Authorities say the phone call and the Internet postings were traced back to Haley.

Officials say the hoax had to be pursued no matter how implausible, and cost hundreds of investigative personnel hours in two states.

Burroughs on Friday denied a defense motion to have Haley’s statement to the GBI suppressed. The judge, noting that Haley had signed a form waiving his Miranda rights, said the interview was given "freely and voluntarily."

The judge also upheld the search of a hospital room where authorities seized a laptop computer. Haley’s pregnant wife was being treated in a room at Northeast Georgia Medical Center where one Internet posting was traced, according to court testimony.

The defense is still expected to challenge the indictment as it applies to the facts of the case.

District attorney Lee Darragh has previously said while there are no specific laws in Georgia addressing Internet hoaxes, the charges used to indict Haley apply.